Sofia, Bulgaria | 17-19 April 2024

Sofia, Bulgaria | 17-19 April 2024

The ECNAIS Conference “Building and maintaining identity in educational organizations in a rapidly changing World.  Student contribution focus: Students as a driving force of educational identity” was held in Sofia, Bulgaria, from 17th to 19th April 2024. This Conference has been organized in good cooperation with the Bulgarian member of ECNAIS, BAPS – Bulgarian Association of Private Schools.

On April 18th, the first day of Conference, during the opening session we had speeches from Ms. Natalia Mihalevska (Ministry of Education), Mr. Yana Genova (Deputy Mayor for Education, Sofia City), Ms. Vanya Kastreva (Head of the Regional Management of Education for Sofia City), Mr. Vassil Velev (Chair of the Association of Industrial Capital in Bulgaria), Mrs. Maria Kamenova - BAPS Chairperson and Rodrigo Melo -  ECNAIS Chairman.

After that, we had a presentation of the History and culture of Bulgaria at a glimpse by two Bulgarian students Atanas Marinov, 11th grade and Rumen Kane, 12th grade.

In this conference we had 4 keynote speekers. Dr. PLAMEN RUSSEV and Prof. DESSISLAVA BOSHNAKOVA gave us a glimpse into the future and education, and Dr. NELI KOLEVA and ALEXANDER ANGELOV spoke about our schools today and how they may prepare for that future.

In the afternoon the participants attended ECNAIS panel “Identity of educational institutions in Europe and in different national contexts” with perspectives from 3 countries: Bulgaria - Annie Angelova, Greece - Georgios Linardatos  and The Netherlands – Peter Warnders. After that, we had a Creative workshop - six creative mentors inspired and supportted the participants in a unique workshop format where concepts and ideas were shapeded  through the means of Music – vocal and instrumental, Movement and dance; Theatre and Fine arts.

On April 19th, the last day of the Conference, participants had school visits to Artis Private School of Arts and Foreign Languages;  Cosmos International School; Denis Diderot School; Prof. Ivan Apostolov Secondary English Language School, Quest nursery and kindergarten, Private kindergarten "Doverie" and American College of Sofia. In the afternoon, participants attended the students creative presentations on the theme of the conference.

The 2024 ECNAIS Conference was very important because we resumed the student participation in the conferences. On April 17th students had an ice breaking activity. On April 18th they attended the Conference in the morning and in the afternoon they had the Discussion Forum (Parallel afternoon session for students). At this year ECNAIS Conference STU SEMIGRAN opened the Spring Youth Discussion Forum in Bulgaria that is part of international student contribution. The topic of the Discussion was: "Students have a significant contribution in building the school identity”. The Discussion was based on the principles of tolerance and respect for different points of view, and encourages critical thinking, active listening, thoroughness, constructiveness, creativity and presentation skills.

On April 19th, the last day of the Conference, together with artists of all sorts, students prepared creative presentations on the theme of the conference, in the morning, and after the visit to The American College of Sofia, they made creative presentations on the theme in the afeternoon.

More information about the Conference here